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Metoo Matters

It's a strange time to be alive. On the one hand, we're seeing a lot of true villains exposed for the way they treat others, particularly women and minorities. On the other hand, there is a weirdly pervasive sensitivity that could make us hesitant to interact with a lot of people for fear of making a mistake.

But that's a good thing.

In the wake of the #metoo movement I have been closely examining my behavior toward women to ensure that nothing I do or say makes them uncomfortable. It can be eye-opening to realize that anything I have done might have seemed inappropriate to someone, regardless of my intentions. But it's a necessary process.

Similarly, there has been a tremendous amount of news about African Americans having the police called on them for activities that are absolutely normal. Shopping, waiting for a friend, and even sleeping are somehow a threat to white people? Not to mention all the shootings of unarmed black men. Now, because I live in a very white s…

Get to Da Choppa!

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You guys! I checked off a major bucket list item last Friday.
I got to ride in a helicopter. It was amazing!

At work we had a group of distributors visiting the home office as a reward for performance. They all got a chance to ride in a helicopter, and some of the employees got a chance too. It was just a quick trip around Idaho Falls, but it was so much fun. Even when the pilot dropped us down suddenly to mess with us and I felt my stomach try to escape. Yay!

Bonus points to anyone who gets the reference in the title.



Basements and Babies

I was talking to a friend this morning about a project she's working on. She purchased a new townhouse to rent for side income, and she is in the process of finishing her basement along with working her full-time job. The more we talked, the more I realized that raising kids is a lot like finishing your own basement on the side. And while she doesn't have children, we are both experiencing a lot of the same things. And both seem to stem from some level of insanity, getting into this mess.

Most people probably don't know everything about construction when they begin finishing the basement (I mean, what really IS a wall, anyway?). You look up a lot of informational videos and muddle along the best you can. If all else fails, duct tape. Similarly, no matter what your experience with kids is before becoming a parent, having your own is different. Parents virtually always feel out of their depth, just taking it one day at a time. You can always give them medicine if they won…

I Can't Believe I'm Talking Politics

I don't normally get political on here, for three reasons.

1. It's boring.
2. I lack the patience to truly think through all the nuances of a well-reasoned debate.
3. I'm not sure anyone was ever convinced to change their views based on something presented by another person. (Prove me wrong!)

But here we go. I'll try to keep it brief. My political background: I grew up in a white, Republican household in Utah. Not surprisingly, I inherited values considered conservative: traditional families, limiting governmental power, all that. My first job out of college was working with a company that lists strongly to the Tea Party side of things. When Obama was elected I genuinely thought it was a disaster.

Then I left the company and started having more conversations with people. And I'm confused about these two ideas.

1. Conservatives in this country tend to identify themselves as  Christian.
2. They don't espouse the ideals that I think Jesus himself would approve of.

The Agony and the Ecstasy

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I finally decided to update the blog. So I picked a random template and it seems nice enough. Maybe I'll customize it one of these days. Or maybe I'll keep switching it out until I find an especially awesome theme.

There hasn't been a lot on my mind in particular, so let's see where this goes.

I'm struck by the intense contrasts of parenting. For example, a few nights a week I come home from work, and Katie drops Sam off at taekwondo and heads to the gym. I stay home with the other three kids and try to make dinner. It can be pretty stressful to prepare a meal with constant demands for something or other, fights, and whatever else is happening. I feel good that I'm giving Katie a little time to herself, but it's exhausting.

Then there are the other times. I usually read a chapter in a book to Allison before tucking her in, and it's just the two of us for a few minutes. Or I hold Clara and sing to her to rock her to sleep. She's almost four, but I re…

The Storm

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On Saturday evening it began to rain while we were out and about celebrating Allison's birthday. We had an early dinner and came home to relax with my parents. The kids were watching a movie and Katie went to the church to practice the organ in preparation for playing the next day. Then my dad's phone piped up with some kind of extreme weather warning, and I looked at my phone's weather app. There was a tornado warning for the eastern part of our county (which is where we are), but it looked like it was cancelled by that point. But the rain turned to hail, and I mean HAIL.


The way the wind was whipping the hail into the house was insane. We went out on the front porch (which is well sheltered from the direction of the storm) and watched the constant lightning up in the clouds. For maybe 20 minutes it was as intense as any storm I have ever experienced in my life.

When it was over we assessed the damage. The first thing I noticed was that it had pummeled the paint off of ou…

Gr8

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Saturday was Allison's 8th birthday. In the LDS Church, 8 years old is the age at which children are baptized, so it has particular significance.


My parents and Katie's parents came up for it. We're pretty low-key about things like this, trying not to let Church culture overwhelm the actual significance of the event. For example, we didn't get her a plain white dress because I don't understand the point of buying a dress she will likely only wear once. (We'll see about a wedding dress.)

Everything went fine for the most part, but I had forgotten some dry clothes and Katie went back home to get them, which made everyone wait an extra five minutes or so. Afterward, Allison wanted us to go to Chuck-A-Rama for dinner. (Side note: It might be cheaper for me to send Sam there for dinner every night than to actually buy food for him, given how much he eats now.)

Allison has an interesting duality. She can be the sweetest child, putting up with a lot of annoyance from …